Baku, June 13, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan’s first finalist in Baku will be Rasul Chunayev, who built a six-point lead within 40 seconds of his semifinal against Bulgarian Svilen Kostadinov and meets the Hungarian Balink Korpasi in the final. CHUNAYEV, 23, was a world cup winner earlier this year.
Elman Mukhtarov (AZE) carried home hopes and fought his way to the semifinals with a thrilling victory against Norway’s Stig-Andre BERGE in the last eight. Mukhtarov led 6-0 and appeared to be coasting, but Berge rallied to 6-6 before losing by a single point, much to the annoyance of his coach whose challenge against a refereeing decision in the final seconds failed. MUKHTAROV was outclassed in the semifinals by Stepan Maryanyan (RUS), who meets Soslan Daurov (BLR) in the final.
It will be the clash of the giants in wrestling terms, Azerbaijan v Russia. Rafig Huseynov won his semifinal in two and a half minutes, throwing Turkey’s Selcuk Cebi, a double world champion. He faces Evgeny Saleev (RUS), who was beaten by Cebi in the world championship final.
Islam Magomedov was impressive from the first minute of his first fight, overpowering one of the favourites, Oliver Hassler (GER). He then defeated opponents from Estonia, Azerbaijan and Turkey and will expect to win gold against Dimitry Timchenko (UKR).